WorldNetDaily slandered Barack Obama as the Antichrist, but it's now pushing the idea that hand of God brought Donald Trump's election as president. Read more >>
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
MRC Blogger's Fake-News Fail on Trump and Russia
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center blogger P.J. Gladnick has been laboring quite hard to pretend there's nothing to see in regard to Donald Trump's links with Russia. For instance, he declared in a March 8 post:
Be very careful Democrats and your mainstream media allies. The fake news story about collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia is a minefield that could destroy your credibility even beyond conservative skeptics who already don't believe you.
But as the AP has stated elsewhere, Clapper not signaling any evidence of collusion does not mean that none exists, or that none was discovered after Clapper left office on Jan. 20.
The next day, Gladnick ranted about a Politico report on the subject:
Gladnick went on to assert that "the only ones to be shaken by the Trump-Russia fake news story are the mainstream media and the Democrats," who are in a "futile search for the Trump-Russia collusion Holy Grail."
Gladnick hasn't written anything in a few days, so we don't know what he thinks about the news that the FBI is officially investigating allegations of coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow while Russia was interfering in the presidential election.
He probably thinks that's "fake news" too.
WND Managing Editor Complains About Websites (Not His Own) Pushing 'Fake News'
WorldNetDaily is rarely more ridiculous than when it's hypocritically ranting about fake news. Take, for instance, Chelsea Schilling's smear-filled screed personally attacking a college professor for putting WND on a list of unreliable fake-news purveyors.
Take also WND managing editor David Kupelian's March 16 article. He begins it by uncritically taking the side of Fox News and Sean Hannity, prlclaiming as "fake news" a CNN report that Hannity pulled a gun on Fox contributor Juan Williams.
Kupelian also takes refuge in his soul-selling to back Donald Trump, refuting the claim in the CNN report by Dylan Byers that Hannity is acting "conspiratorial" by obsessing about a "deep state" of federal officials working to undermine Trump: "Pause-button, please: The last several months of news have comprised a non-stop prosecutorial case demonstrating precisely such efforts by entrenched, anti-Trump federal employees to sabotage the new president, including through naked violations of the Espionage Act."
Kupelian then hopped to another subject:
McCarthy's column -- which did concede that Crowley made "missteps" -- is mostly a rehash of Chu's Facebook post defending Crowley, in which Chu curiously states that "I was engaged to conduct a detailed review" of the CNN report on Crowley but fails to state by whom she was "engaged."
But as Business Insider details, CNN did in fact address the footnotes in Crowley's dissertation, saying that she "often failed to include citations or to properly cite sources in sections where she copied their wording verbatim or closely paraphrased it." Politico similarly reported that Crowley "lifted passages from her footnoted texts, occasionally making slight wording changes but rarely using quotation marks. Sometimes she didn't footnote at all." Crowley also sometimes initially cited sources but then failed to do so on subsequent references that appeared to be taken wholesale from or were extremely close to the original text.
Kupelian concludes: "Sounds like it’s CNN, not Hannity, that has the problem with reckless behavior and not only threatening – but hurting – innocent people. But that’s what happens when you’re really, really angry." You mean like WND behaved all through the Obama administration?
The MRC-Mark Levin Cross-Promotion Spectacular
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a business relationship with Mark Levin, in which they promote each other. They both remind us of this once again, even as they fail to disclose this relationship to their respective readers and listeners.
On March 5, CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister touted how "Levin Uses Liberal Media’s OWN WORDS as 'Evidence' Obama Spied on Trump." (Though we doubt Levin spoke with the boldface and underlines and all-caps Bannister generously ascribes to him.) Except, well, that's not exactly what happened; Levin is desperately trying to pump up intelligence agencies' alleged monitoring of the Trump campaign's links to Russia into something he can maliciously speculate about but can't prove: that Obama personally ordered it or, at the very least, knew about it at the time.
When CNN's Brian Stelter had the temerity to point out that Levin's conflation did not constitute actual evidence that Obama personally had Trump Tower wiretapped, as President Trump claimed in a tweet, Bannister was there to dutifully transcribe Levin's open-letter rant to Stelter sneering that he was being "thoroughly dishonest" for reporting the truth. A NewsBusters post pretty much did the same thing.
Then Levin posted all these MRC links, and a couple more, to his Facebook page, under the headline "The week that was with our friends at MRC..."
Cross-promotion at its finest. How about behaving somewhat ethically for once and disclose that y'all are paying each other for this?
Monday, March 20, 2017
WND Launches Another Personal Attack on Prof Who Put It On List of Fake-News Sites
WorldNetDaily is still in personal attack mode against anyone who tells the truth about its lack of credibility.
Last November, when Merrimack College professor Melissa Zimdars put WND on a list of "not credible" websites -- something that's pretty obvious about WND from simply reading the site -- WND's Chelsea Schilling devoted an article to smearing her, stealing unflattering photos of her from her Twitter account (without permission, we can guess) and mocking her academic credentials by emphasizing that she has done research in "fat studies," published a paper on "fat acceptance TV."
Well, Zimdars' list got linked by Harvard University in a research guide, so Schilling is dragging out her attacks again in a March 13 article, republishing all those unflattering stolen pics and sneering that Zimdars is "leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in 'fat studies'" and who "only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Massachusetts, for about 19 months."
Indeed, Schilling is so busy trying to smear Zimdars that the vast majority of her article is dedicated to bashing her. Despite calling Zimdars' list "error-riddled," at no point does Schilling deny or disprove anything Zimdars said about WND beyond complaining that the "Zimdars’ project offers no explanation for" calling WND "unreliable."
Of course, the fact that WND tries to smear its critics rather than engage with them is one clear sign it's "unreliable."
There's also the record from just the past few months, in which WND:
If that's not evidence of an "unreliable" website, we don't know what is. Schilling and WND certainly don't know.
MRC Defends Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center
A March 17 Media Research Center post by Dawn Slusher noting that an episode of the new TV series "Greenleaf" touches on the subject of "conversion therapy" intended to turn a gay person straight feels the need to speak up for the practice:
For these "facts, statistics and answers," Slusher cites a pro-conversion therapy group that claims criticism of conversion therapyare "opinion, not science" and cites the virulently anti-gay group NARTH in support, and self-proclaimed ex-transgender woman Walt Heyer, a current fave of anti-gay activists who admits he was misdiagnosed as transgender.
Slusher goes on to rant:
Nicolosi was a founder of NARTH, which tells you all you need to know about him and his motivations. And if are "good and successful programs" for conversion therapy as Slusher claims there is, why have none surfaced during state hearings to ban the practice that use a scientifically valid, replicable method that does no harm to the client, and why did Slusher cite any in her post? Perhaps because one doesn't exist.
The MRC is being irresponsible in promoting a discredited therapy method, just as it was in promoting a certain strain of anti-vaxxer activism.
WND's Anti-Gay 'Beauty And The Beast' Freakout Fails, As Does The Boycott
When the news came out that Disney's live-action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" had re-imagined the villainous sidekick LeFou as gay, the gay-haters at WorldNetDaily did what it does: go into fearmongering mode.
Bob Unruh fretted over Disney's disturbing pattern of treating gays like normal people in a March 8 WND article:
Unruh went on to uncfritically quote gay-hater Franklin Graham fretting that "'Beauty and the Beast' will feature a gay character in an attempt to normalize this lifestyle" and demanding a boycott of all Disney products.
Funny, one would have thought Graham and WND would be at least cheered by the fact that the gay character is a villain.
The same day, WND columnist Michael Brown asked whether "As followers of Jesus, it is right for us to boycott Disney in general or 'Beauty and the Beast' in particular?" He approved the boycott as long as it was done in a manner that is not hypocritical, insisting that "it is not hate to say, 'I don’t want my kids to witness a gay kiss or a gay romance,' any more than it is hate for a Jewish atheist to say, 'I don’t want my kids to listen to a rabbi’s sermon,' or for a gay parent to say, 'I don’t want my kids to be exposed to Bible verses that speak against homosexuality.'"
WND columnist Scott Morefield lamented that "there is enough diversity of opinion in the United States to almost unequivocally state that boycotts never work, at least not in the way they are intended," but he also ranted:
Morefield added of Disney that "the once-trusted studio continues to reach new lows and it would be awesome to see the pendulum swing in our direction for once, just a little."
Still, WND started a petition citing "Beauty and the Beast," as well as other purported offenses, including one it had nothing to do with -- that "LGBT activists have long pressured Disney to promote their sexual agenda to America’s youth – as with their 2016 campaign to persuade Disney to portray Elsa from 'Frozen' as a lesbian, using the hashtag #GiveElsaAGirlfriend -- to (all caps is theirs) "TELL DISNEY YOU WILL BOYCOTT 'BEAUTY AND THE BEAST' AND OTHER DISNEY FARE UNTIL IT RETURNS TO THE WHOLESOME FAMILY VALUES IT ONCE CHAMPIONED AND STOPS MARKETING A HARMFUL SEXUAL AGENDA TO OUR CHILDREN."
As with most other WND petitions, this is email address-harvesting operation to build up its mailing list, and no count of signature -- let alone any mention of a verification process to prove the signatures are from actual people and not duplicates or automated -- is provided.
So how's all that working for WND? Not very well. "Beauty and the Best" earned a record $170 million in its opening weekend and $350 million worldwide.
In all this freakout, however, WND expressed no concern about the central romance of "Beauty and the Beast,"even though it has warned against human-animal hybrids in the past.
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Maddow's Trump Tax Reveal Sends MRC Into Attack Mode
Topic: Media Research Center
After MSNBC's Rachel Maddow revealed a couple of pages of Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns, the Media Research Center went into overdrive trying to dismiss it as a "fail" and/or a "flop" and/or a "non-story":
The fact that the MRC devoted 12 posts to Maddow's tax-return reveal within 48 hours after the story aired would seem to indicate the opposite of what it's trying to tell us -- that it really wasn't the "fail" or "non-story" the MRC repeatedly insists it was.
The MRC is certainly not going to give Maddow credit for doing something no other media organization has done to date, as the Washington Post's Erik Wemple points out: get Trump to didsclose information about his taxes.
The MRC went even further into pro-Trump spin mode with a March 17 post by James Powers asserting that "Trump’s effective tax rate for 2005 was 79 percent" accounting for the $103 million in losses he took (on $151 million in income) and the alternative minimum tax he paid.
WND Still Complaining About Trump Impeachment Talk, Forgetting It Agitated for Hillary Impeachment
Myra Adams complains in her March 9 WorldNetDaily column:
Bob Unruh followed in a March 10 WorldNetDaily article:
Both Adams and Unruh -- as WND usually does -- have conveniently forgotten they argued the opposite when it came to Hillary Clinton. As we've noted, Hillary Clinton wasn't even running for president in 2015 when WND started agitating for her impeachment, and WND was touting just a couple days before the November election how "If Hillary Clinton wins the election Tuesday, a prominent Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee says there will be an immediate move to impeach her before she can even be sworn into office Jan. 20."
Unruh also wants us to believe that "dozens of scandals under President Obama that included potentially impeachable offenses." But WND's main effort in pushing that idea was a laughable, falsehood-ridden "Case for Impeachment" that was led by Obama's purported illegitimacy to be president.
The actual story here is that WND doesn't like it when others try to do to Trump what it did to Obama. How hypocritical.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
MRC's Blumer Still Doesn't Understand How AP Works
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center blogger Tom Blumer is obsessed with bashing the Associated Press -- yet not so obsessed with it to bother to understand how the news cooperative works.
Blumer devoted a March 5 post to complaining that the AP ran the address of a private email account Vice President Mike Pence's wife used to conduct official business while Pence was Indiana governor. Pence's account was hacked.
Blumer is huffing that the AP didn't remove the email address from the original story after Pence told the AP the account was still active (instead agreeing not to publish it in future articles), self-righteously asserting he "won't link" to the story with the address but instead linking to a Google search with the story "as the current first item listed."
Well, there's your problem, Tom. The story is not at the AP website but, rather, at the Boston Globe. And, thus, we are compelled to explain to Blumer how the AP works.
The AP is not a news organization per se but a news cooperative, sustained by the membership fees of subscribers like the Globe that run AP content in exchange for making their own original content available to the AP for distribution. AP members are generally free to do what they will with AP's content, such as adding their own localized content to an AP story.
AP stories on the websites of other subscribing news organizations are not on AP servers but, rather, servers run by those news organizations, so there's little the AP could do on its own to retroactively redact the offending email address in question because dozens, if not hundreds, of news organizations would have to individually make that change. In other words, the AP could demand that the Globe redact the email address from its story, but it has little power to ensure that it actually did so. Meanwhile, the AP has no power whatsoever to stop those who copy the story without its authorization.
The AP's stance, then, is a prudent one that recognizes that the Internet is forever and it cannot purge every single instance of the address off the web.
While Blumer rants at the AP for taking a "Karen Pence's privacy be damned" approach to the issue, he gives a pass to Pence's wife for stupidly insisting on continuing to use an email account that was 1) hacked, or at least exposed in the hacking of her husband's account; 2) exposed as having been used for official business in contradiction of ethics if not the law (to which Blumer also gives a pass), and 3) published by a news organization and given wide dissemination.
And AP is the irresponsible one here? Only in Blumer's fevered brain.
Genocide Watch Founder Confirms WND Columnist Misquoted Him
The other day, we highlighted Barbara Simpson's WND March 12 column in which she claims to quote Genocide Watch founder Gregory Stanton saying things about the purported "white genocide" in South Africa that seem to diverge from his normal tone on the subject, particularly things like "For God’s sake, don’t disarm. Do not disarm."
We contacted Genocide Watch to find out if he really said those things. Stanton responded by email:
Consider it done, Dr. Stanton. We're sending an email link to this post to Simpson's WND email address.
Friday, March 17, 2017
MRC Writer Can't Stop Pushing 'Fungible' Canard About Planned Parenthood Funding
Topic: Media Research Center
Back in January, we shot down Media Research Center writer Katie Yoder's assertion that federal money given to Planned Parenthood is "fungible" -- an argument that conveniently ignores the fact that this federal money is provided for specific services and cannot be shifted elsewhere.
In keeping with the current MRC tradition of ignoring facts that counter its political agenda, Yoder keeps making the same false argument.
In a March 7 post, Yoder hammered on a certain false theme (bolding is ours):
The only evidence Yoder provides for this is an unsubstantiated assertion by Republican Sen. James Lankford that "The money is fungible," as well as her and fellow MRCer Sarah Stites' ridiculous analogy that "imagine giving your teen $20 to use specifically for gas. Although he can’t buy beer with that $20, he can now use his own $20 to purchase alcohol since the gas was covered by you."
Someone forgot to tell Yoder and Stites that teens can't legally buy alcohol. And it still doesn't take into account the fact that federal money to Planned Parenthood isn't intermingled with other funds and Planned Parenthood must account to the feds their spending on the programs the money is designated toward.
But hey, the truth no longer matters at the MRC.
UPDATE: Yoder makes the assertion again in a March 17 post, though she tones down her certainty: "pro-life leaders and politicians argue money is fungible – or that Planned Parenthood could offset costs with federal funds to free up other resources for abortion." And "money is fungible" is again linked to her and Stites' dumb teen-buying-alcohol argument.
At least she sort of concedes that "money is fungible" is just something right-wingers "argue" and not actually based in fact.
CNS' Jones Obsesses Over Calls to Release Trump's Taxes -- Then Ignores Actual Release
CNSNews.com has been weirdly obsessed lately with media mentions of calls for Donald Trump to release his income taxes.
We noted that on March 2 and March 6, CNS' Susan Jones made a point of bringing up how Sen. Al Franken said that Trump should release his tax returns, even though the subject at hand was some other Trump-related controversy.
In another March 6 article, Jones quoted Sen. Susan Collins noting that any investigation of claims that members of the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia before the election or Trump's still-unsubstantiated claim that President Obama wiretapped Trump campaign headquarters might require a look at Trump's tax returns.
On March 9, Jones devoted yet another article to it, this time based on comments by Nancy Pelosi and framed as Pelosi wanting to rummage through them for something that caused "personal embarrassment to the president." Jones huffed: "Democrats, including Pelosi, say Trump is the only president since Gerald Ford not to release his tax returns. There is no law saying he must do so."
Another March 9 article by Jones touched on it as well, which noted a proposed Democratic amendment to the Republican health care bill "that would allow the [House Ways and Means] committee to review Trump's tax returns in closed session." Again, Jones grumbled that "there is no law requiring Trump to release his tax returns."
Jones still wasn't done. She began a March 13 article this way:
Jones didn't mention that Trump's abject refusal to release his tax returns like every other major presidential candidate in modern history invites this kind of speculation. As the saying goes, if you have nothing to hide, you hide nothing.
That six articles in 11 days on Democrats wanting to see Trump's taxes. A little obsessive, perhaps?
Here's the capper, though: When MSNBC's Rachel Maddow released a two-page summary of Trump's 2005 tax return on March 14 -- information that was confirmed by the White House -- Jones didn't see that as news, for she did no story on it.
It looks like Jones has once again exposed her bias for all the world to see.
WND, Which Complained Feds Had Too Many Bullets, Now Complain They Don't Have Enough
Now that President Obama is out of office and politically motivated complaints about federal aid going to Kenya no longer fit WorldNetDaily's political agenda, WND correspondent Steve Peacock has to write about something. So he writes in a March 12 WND article:
What Peacock doesn't tell you: A few years ago, WND was fearmongering that DHS and other agencies were buying too many bullets.
In January 2013, WND's Aaron Klein complained that "the federal government -- primarily the Department of Homeland Security -- possesses an ammunition surplus while local and state authorities face ammunition shortages and backlogs in purchasing more rounds." ICE is part of DHS.
In February 2013, WND editor Joseph Farah cited "the highly unusual stockpiling of firearms and ammo by Homeland Security" as evidence of his utterly false conspiracy theory that Obama was creating a "civilian national security force" that was actually a domestic army and the federal stockpile was being created because "Obama would like to deny [them] to ordinary citizens who are not members of his domestic army."
Farah's column was accompanied by a poll asking "Why is Homeland Security stockpiling big supplies of guns and ammo?" The top answer by far: "Obama is preparing to declare martial law."
WND also touted Sarah Palin's claim that the government is "stockpiling bullets in case of civil unrest," as well as right-wing radio host Mark Levin's assertion that the feds are "armed now for a 24-year Iraq war."
March 2013, though, was the peak of WND's ammo fearmongering. As one article put it:
Klein even got Code Pink's Madea Benjamin to express concern about the ammo purchases, in an attempt to portray it as a bipartisan issue. And WND's Drew Zahn had a right-wing congressman suggest that the Obama administration was stonewalling over the issue- - even though he also reports that "the Department of Homeland Security has argued that it is buying in bulk to save money."
As recently as April 2015, WND was still complaining about feds having too much ammo, grumbling that "The Department of Justice is seeking to purchase 95,000 rounds of 9mm hollow-point bullets and has posted online a solicitation that requires bids to be submitted by April 30," adding that "the federal government’s bulk purchase of ammunition in recent years, including a proposal to buy 1.6 billion bullets, has raised concerns about the government’s need for such supplies."
A better reporter would have tried to explain how WND has moved from complaining that the government was buying too much ammo to complaining it doesn't have enough. Peacock is not that reporter.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
MRC's Graham Thinks Right-Wing Reporters Aren't Biased
Topic: Media Research Center
Right-wing snob (and terrible media critic) Tim Graham is at his lame ways again, this time over the influx of right-wing media outlets in the White House briefing room.
In a March 11 Media Research Center post, attacked the Washington Post for highlighting that a right-wing partisan, Fred Lucas of the Heritaqge Foundation-operated Daily Signal, served as a pool reporter.
Graham then uses a March 13 post to rant about "the leftist snobs at The New Yorker" for noting the right-wing influx in "a snide piece full of anonymous whiners." Graham whined that the Post accurately referred to the DailySignal as a partisan outlet:
But the Times and the Post have walls between editorial and opinion. Can the Daily Signal say that? Can Graham say that about any right-wing outlet? Indeed, Graham merely regurgitates Daily signal editor Rob Bluey's unsubstantiated assertion that there's "a hard firewall" between Heritage's partisan operations and the Daily Signal.
Graham does eventually get around to a bit of relevant disclosure: "Fred Lucas is a friend and a veteran of MRC’s news outlet, CNSNews.com. So is Rob Bluey, who runs the Daily Signal."
Lucas (pictured above) was a highly biased reporter during his time at CNS, fearmongering about the alleged hazards of fluorescent light bulbs, peddling anti-Obama conspiracies and maliciously attacking Obama's family. Bluey, meanwhile, did misleading reporting on the anti-John Kerry Swift Boat Vets (that benefited the Swift Boaters) while at CNS.
With such biased people running the Daily Signal, let's not pretend there's any meaningful "firewall" between it and the rest of Heritage -- just as there is no meaningful fifewall between CNS and the rest of the MRC. If the jobs of Bluey and Lucas were not to push Heritage's agenda, they wouldn't be working there.
Of course, Graham's playing a zero-sum game here: He thinks any reporter who's not reliably right-wing is "liberal."
Graham seems to also take offense at the title of the New Yorker piece, "Is Trump Trolling The White House Press Corps?" But he's curiously silent about, nor does he excerpt, the part of the piece that answers the headline's question: a captured conversation between Jim Hoft, head of right-wing blog Gateway Pundit and the stupidest person on the internet, and his new White House reporter, Lucian Winritch, who said that a conservative-media friend told him "You were brought in to troll the press corps, and you’d better troll hard." Hoft himself is quoted saying of Winritch: "He's there to troll."
Graham, of course, is too busy smugly hurling insults like "'Smug Little Cartel' is an excellent summation of The New Yorker" to say anything intelliggent about this. Perhaps because he wants right-wing trolls in the White House press corps to be tossing softballs to Sean Spicer.
Need proof? Just six hours before Graham's rant was posted, an MRC post by Kyle Drennen touted one of those softball questions from a right-wing reporter:
That's exactly the kind of right-wing propaganda that Graham wants to hear.
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